On January 27, 2010, in a 3-2 vote, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to provide public companies with interpretive guidance on existing SEC disclosure requirements as they apply to business or legal developments relating to the issue of climate change.
The SEC’s press release announcing the decision notes that the interpretive guidance does not create new legal requirements through rule adoption, nor does it set forth new standards of materiality. Instead, the guidance highlights the following areas as examples of climate-related issues that may trigger disclosure requirements in a company's risk factors, business description, legal proceedings, or management discussion and analysis included in its filings with the SEC...
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